Okanagan Sun return for spring camp hopeful for another great season

Sun return for spring camp

After losing out to the Westshore Football team in B.C. Conference Final action last season, the Okanagan Sun have returned to the gridiron for spring camp, dusting off the rust from the offseason and stepping back into action for what they hope will be another great season.

Head Coach Travis Miller and co. have lost just one game in the last two seasons, but he knows there is more to give with this new squad.

“When you look at the fact that we went undefeated in 2022 and that we lost in the finals last year to Westshore, it’s really about redemption and building our team back to where we were a year prior," said Miller.

"A lot of these guys that are on our team now, some of them are starters, some of them are back ups, but they were all on the team and they know what it takes to win a national championship and we are working towards that on a daily basis."

130 football players will be battling it out this week for a total of 85 available spots on the team, and after a great offseason of recruiting the coaching staff is really looking forward to what this new team will bring to the field.

“Ultimately, we have an unbelievable group of highschool players that are coming here from across the country. We have 13 guys from Football Alberta that are coming here, which is fantastic,” said Miller.

“We have six local players that all played on team BC that are all a part of our program too. It’s not often that you get a level of almost 20 guys who are nationally some of the best players under 18 that are here and that’s very unique and important for us to build on.”

The team is on the lookout for young players who can bring a certain level of intensity and who can live up to the day to day demand of what it truly means to be a member of the Okanagan Sun.

"It’s not easy playing junior football, we talk about that all the time, especially playing for our team, it’s very demanding, it’s not an easy thing. And so when you look at our program, you have to really buy in to what we are doing, hold yourself accountable and then make sure that you are executing at a high level, that’s a big thing for us," said Miller.

After coming so close to the national stage in back to back years, returning receiver Sam Melanson says the fire burns bright for a lot of players who are hungry to prove the doubters wrong in 2024.

“As soon as we lost that game we all got together, the guys we knew would be coming back and we just kind of decided that we are not going to let this happen again, it did not feel good at all, and for a lot of guys that stuck with us through the whole offseason," said the receiver.

"You want to be thinking about that stuff. We are just looking forward to this season. We don’t want last season to define us, kind of thing, so we got a full new group and it’s definitely going to be a little different this year.”

As the Okanagan Sun continue to work their way through spring camp finalizing their roster for the 2024 season, a number of players are still in need of billet families, and if you’re interested in helping out the team, you can contact the Okanagan Sun.

The season officially gets underway on July 20 at the Apple Bowl in Kelowna.

Okanagan Sun hold their annual spring camp this weekend

Sun host spring camp

The Okanagan Sun coaching staff will get a chance to see the fruits of their off season labour up close when the team holds its annual spring camp this weekend.

The coaching staff along with 15 guest coaches will put 120 recruits and returning veterans through their paces during the three day camp beginning Friday evening at the Parkinson Rec Centre fields and concluding with a scrimmage Sunday afternoon at the Apple Bowl.

Sun head coach Travis Miller says he's excited about this year's recruiting class and excited to see what they can do within the team's system.

"We are looking to evaluate all of the new players in our system to see how they operate with the things that we do," said Miller.

"On film you're able to get a sense of their athleticism, some of the things they do well and some of the things they need to improve on, but until you see them directly in your system you can't truly evaluate how they are going to fit within the parameters of what we're doing."

Miller says they will also evaluate the off season progressions made by their returning vets.

Included within the camp numbers are several grade 11 players who are looking to get some experience at this level before their final year of high school.

Once camp has concluded the coaching staff will reduce the numbers to the 85 players who will be invited to main camp starting July 1.

Okanagan Sun will open 2024 BCFC season at the Apple Bowl

Sun open season at home

The Okanagan Sun will open, and close the 2024 BC Football Conference season within the friendly confines of the Apple Bowl.

The 2024 schedule released Thursday will see each of the seven member teams play a 10-game schedule over 12 weeks.

The regular season opens July 20 and concludes Oct. 5.

The Sun will kick off the season at home Saturday, July 20 against the Langley Rams and close it out Saturday, Sept. 28 at home to the Valley Huskers.

They get the bye the final weekend of the regular season.

Following their season opener the Sun will play three straight on the road before hosting Prince George Aug. 17.

They will also host Kamloops Aug. 31 and reigning BCFC champion Westshore Rebels Sept. 21.

All five regular season home games will be played on Saturdays.

The BCFC champion will travel to the home of the Prairie Conference champion in the national semi-final. The Ontario Conference

Okanagan Sun hold their annual general meeting Saturday

Sun set to elect new board

The Okanagan Sun are set to elect a new board of directors this weekend.

The Okanagan Mainline Football Society which runs the BC Football Conference team will hold its annual general meeting Saturday at the Kelowna Yacht Club.

The AGM begins at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.

Along with election of a new board of directors the meeting will also include the presentation of the society's financial report along with appointment of auditors and solicitors.

Okanagan Sun members take spin on dance floor at retirement resort

Sun players shine at dance

Residents at Westwood Retirement Resort had some very special guests stop by their winter dance on Tuesday evening.

Members of the Okanagan Sun Football team surprised the residents and even took a spin on the dance floor with some of the lovely ladies.

"The ladies were delighted to see the young men dressed in their team coloured shirts looking so dapper," said Christie Hughes with Regency Resorts.

Hughes says the players have great moves on the football field but some of them were a bit out of their element on the dance floor.

"Graciously, the ladies led the way," said Hughes.

"So much fun was had by all and the Westwood Residents would love to thank the Sun boys for a great night of dancing and extend an invitation to please come back soon."

More BCFC articles